An Overview of Felony DUI

An Overview of Felony DUI

Any type of drunk driving arrest or conviction can change your life forever. The stigma of a DUI can hurt an individual's reputation, relationships, and work prospects. When a DUI-related crash results in death or injury to another person, however, the consequences are even more severe. These are devastating charges that are typically emotional, overwhelming, and complex. If convicted, you could face up to 25 years in prison. If you have been charged with felony DUI, it goes without saying that you need powerful criminal defense.

What the Law Says about Felony DUI

Under South Carolina law, an individual can be charged with felony DUI, found at S.C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-2945, under the following circumstances:

  • He operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, and
  • He operates his vehicle unlawfully or negligently, and
  • His unlawful or negligent operation proximately causes great bodily injury or death to another person

The prosecution must prove all three elements to obtain a felony DUI conviction. The law also assigns different penalties depending on whether an accused causes great bodily injury or a fatal accident. The statute defines great bodily injury as "bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ."

Individuals convicted of causing great bodily injury face a mandatory fine of at least $5,100 and no more than $10,100, plus jail time of 30 days to 15 years. Offenders who cause fatal accidents must pay between $10,100 and $25,100, plus serve prison time ranging from one to 25 years.

Charleston DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers

Because the penalties for felony DUI are so severe, it is crucial to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. As former prosecutors, Attorneys Glenn Churchill and Jack Sinclaire know how to handle cases from both sides of the courtroom. They can help you develop a defense strategy tailored specifically to your unique case.

Call Attorneys Glenn Churchill, Esq. and Jack Sinclaire, Esq. today at (843) 849-1384 to discuss your case.

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This website has been prepared by Glenn Churchill, Esq. & Jack Sinclaire, Esq. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.